Safeguard Your Health with Multi-Vitamins
A couple of days ago, I was coming out of a local supermarket and I noticed a long line of people. When I inquired as to what was going on, I learned that these people, both young and old, were lined up to get a flu shot for the upcoming winter flu and cold season. I wondered how many of those people in line were doing other things to optimize their health. If this was a random sampling of the population, probably half of them were taking a junk supermarket brand once-a-day vitamin and many were probably taking nothing at all.
With this thought in mind, the use of daily vitamins is an inexpensive way to safeguard your health. A new study was released earlier this month indicating that the daily use of a multi-vitamin by older adults could lead to more than $1.6 billion in Medicare savings over the next five years. This study was conducted by the Lewin Group and was presented at a recent conference in Washington, D.C., entitled "Multi-Vitamins and Public Health". The study involved the systematic review of the available medical research examining the health effects of multi-vitamin use in adults over the age of 65 years old. Dr. Dobson, director of health care finance at the Lewin Group was quoted as saying, "We were able to identify significant cost savings based on immune functioning and a reduction in the relative risk of coronary artery disease through providing a daily multi-vitamin to the 65 and over population." Over the next five year period, the results indicated potential cost savings from reduction in hospitalizations for heart attack, cancer and infection.
The Lewin Group pointed to a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2002, which says "Sub-optimal intake of some vitamins causing classic vitamin deficiency is a risk factor for chronic diseases and common in the general population, especially in the elderly." The authors, Drs. Fletcher and Fairfield, indicated that low levels of folic acid, B6 and B12 pose a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, neural tube defects along with colon and breast cancers.
Additionally, low levels of vitamin D contribute to osteopenia and fractures while low levels of vitamins A, C and E may increase the risk of several chronic diseases.
At the recent conference in Washington, leading experts from government agencies, top research universities and health advocacy organizations concluded that most Americans do not get optimal amounts of key micro-nutrients through diet alone. Daily multi-vitamins should be recommended to close the nutritional gap. Multi-vitamins are safe, affordable, cost effective and accessible.
The panel's findings indicate promising evidence supporting multi-vitamin use for the prevention of some chronic diseases, such as cardio vascular disease. Given these results it is prudent to recommend that all adults take a daily multi-vitamin. Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg, professor of nutrition science at Tufts University said at the conference, "the current research indicates that multi-vitamins can help protect against the cell damage that makes us vulnerable to the development of many diseases common among older adults." He also indicated that multi-vitamins are a safe and effective tool for the promotion of health and prevention of chronic disease.
This study and recent conference was certainly pleasing to read. It was nice to see that some members of academia realize the benefits and safety of vitamin supplementation. The question that is so frequently asked by readers of this newsletter and visitors to our site is "I want to take a vitamin, but I don't know which one?" There are hundreds of vitamin companies selling products in the United States, some good, most poor. You are fortunate to have access to a very unique and superior multivitamin called the Synergy line from Nutraceutical Sciences Institute. NSI's Synergy products contain optimal levels and forms of nutrients proven to work in clinical studies.
Many of the nutrients like CoQ10, lutein, alpha lipoic acid, grape seed, green tea, ginkgo and others in Synergy are missing entirely in most other multivitamins. Even if the nutrient is in the other products, many times the level is XXXX??? and will provide minimal to no benefit.
The Synergy line offers a wide array of products in capsules far superior to any other once-a-day vitamins available on the market. Capsules are far superior to rock hard tablets that contain artificial chemicals including dyes and binders.
By Allen S. Josephs, M.D.